Iron Man 2: Modern Living with Robot Suits
Iron Man 2! It’s like Iron Man the first, only with more robot fighting action, more corporate conspiracies, more babes and booze, and more political dilemmas. In a nutshell, upscaling sequel syndrome. But labels can be deceptive; this is a good one. Mickey Rourke takes on the role of Ivan Vanko, the bad guy of the movie, and damn if he isn’t wonderful in the role. His Russian’s not too bad, considering he manages to throw in a Slovakian accent. Before I get ahead of myself, let’s cover a bit of plot.
Tony Stark, played by the magnificent Robert Downey Jr., is dying. His miniature arc reactor core is slowly poisoning his body with palladium. As such, he’s planning ahead for his demise and giving away what he can before his time comes. The US government wants to take seize Tony’s suits because they don’t want to rely on him. Justin Hammer of Hammer Industries wants Tony out of the way so he can lead the technology race, so that’s another force set against our protagonist.
What’s that? You want another enemy? How about Ivan Vanko, the son of the man who worked with Tony Stark’s father to create the original arc reactor? Yeah, that’ll do. After Ivan attacks Tony in his own, personally made suit, the US government moves in to claim what they think is theirs. Strangely enough, Tony hands over one of his suits to Rhodey, who then hands it over to Hammer Industries.
Hammer, originally allying himself with Vanko to aid development of his battle-suits, abandons the project and instead weaponizes one of Tony’s Iron Man suits. As it turns out, Ivan didn’t care about the resources Hammer offered anyway. He just wanted a means to exact vengeance on Tony for what Howard Stark did to his father. Anton Vanko worked with Howard on the arc reactor, but Tony’d pop had Anton departed when he discovered the Russian scientist saw their project as a get-rich-quick scheme. As a result, Ivan grew up dealing with his father constantly drunk and furious.
Looking back, this movie feels much shorter than the first. A lot goes on, but it all happens simultaneously. I guess you could really call this a high-density, action packed sci-fi thriller. It’s true, there’s hardly a point where you’re bored. Oh, side note: Don Cheadle assumes Terrence Howard’s former role of Rhodey, causing some inconsistencies in flashback material, but nothing to derail your movie experience. Aside from that, everything flows well.
Finally, the easter eggs. There are a crap ton, and all of them reference the Avengers movie. You have a prototype shield of Captain America, Dr. Nicholas Fury founding the Avenger Initiative, a cameo of Mjolnir, Thor’s beatstick, at the end of the credits… Yeah, the filmmakers know what’s up. Also, Samuel L. Jackson wanted more screen-time, so they used that as sort of a promise that he’d be in further movies. Good for Samuel L. Jackson.
Peter Travers of RollingStone paints glamour all over Iron Man 2 with his review. He also comments on the sheer density of the plot, but sums it up as tolerable and enjoyable. Indeed, Scarlett Johansson definitely puts on quite the show as Black Widow. Here’s the link: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/iron-man-2-20100430